Family Constellations – A Very Personal Journey © By John L.

Payne

When we embark on journey of personal transformation it is often difficult to remember who we were before, our past behaviours, beliefs and ways of being and doing almost become like feint and distant shadows of our former selves. At times elements of our past selves are still there to remind us that there is still more transformational work to do, but very often we look back at who we were and wonder ’How could I have been that person’? Growing up I had a mother who suffered from depression. Sometimes it was so severe that she would simply sit and stare at the wall and I would stand in front of her, not only deeply worried about her condition, but also with a longing just to be seen and noticed. Out of my deep need to be seen I began to live from a space of existing to meet her needs, hoping vainly that if one day she would get better then she would see me. This became a lifelong pattern in many of my friendships and definitely in intimate relationships – existing only to fulfil the other person’s needs in the hope that I would one day be seen for just being me. My long journey towards individuation and developing the ability to meet my own needs and to allow others to be where they are with their process and being independent of whatever their experience of life is has had many twists and turns, much heartache and finally the light appeared on the horizon – I no longer needed to define either who I am or my worth in relationship to other, but rather, define myself in relationship to myself, which in turn deeply affected my relationship to others – love was able to flourish and flow more freely. I grew up to become an adult having no idea that I had never individuated, no clue that I was still stuck being that little boy waiting for his mother to emerge from her depression and see him. The process of individuation has not been an easy one, but the ball was set firmly in motion as I threw myself into Family Constellation work. So what is individuation? It sounds like a fancy word; however what it really means is having a deep sense of self and our place in the world. What we all long for is connection, not only to ourselves but also to others and the world round us – we want to feel and live the pulse of life. It may seem a strange concept that in order for us to feel connected others we need to connect to ourselves – or individuate. For the most part, each of us can spend years, if not decades, trying to get from others what we don’t have. This can only ever fail. It is ironic that in order not to feel like an island separated from others and mostly living in our head, we need to come into ourselves in order to feel connected and not alone. It is from this place we can create loving relationship that exist in equilibrium – with balance between give and take. It takes great courage for any child to be happier than their parents. Perhaps I should repeat that – it takes great courage for any child to be happier than their parents. As I entered the world of Family Constellations it was as simple as taking a breath to see that I was totally entangled with my mother. That much I got. But how do we change something in which we have invested much of our lives in? Spotting the entanglement was easy, the hard part was going to be convincing me to individuate and exist for myself and with myself. My greatest fear was this: If I give this up I will lose all hope of anyone ever loving me.

we can begin to define ourselves and our existence through our relationship to others than rather than our relationship to ourselves.net No part of this article may be reproduced without quoting its source. Being the burden carrier had become my raison d’être. to either ensure their happiness or to give the parent purpose or reason to live. it becomes very challenging for us to individuate and to exist independent of others. what would I do if I didn’t carry this? Who would I be? What would become of me? As I had simply not received enough as a child I had no sense of self. gurus. We begin to love from our core. From this place of strength and aliveness we love differently. or does the child exist for the parent? When as young children we exist for the happiness of a parent. there was a gaping hole. From this place we do not give to be seen. It is as if we’ve just arrived in our own life and everything is new. . a void that could not be filled. It was an abyss of emptiness. As we begin to disentangle from the fate of others we get a breath of fresh air for the first time. and can see the core of others in all of its splendour. As we individuate we start giving to ourselves all of that we did not get as a child and we are no longer dependent on others to fill the void. I simply did not know who I was and could not feel who I was outside of this function of being the burden carrier.familyconstellations. for now we have our core. The process of individuation and truly allowing others to carry and hold their own burdens was not easy.The important question here is the following: Does the parent exist for the child. From here it is like discovering the New World and in this new world there is the relationship to self and individuation. and walk out of the door with a deeper knowing about what the mystics. We can literally step in the door with an issue with our mother or father. we do not love to be seen. When are unable to exist independent of others we can become rescuers and very ‘needy’. or simply that we are not happy. Websites: http://www. This was no easy task. for the first time we see the sun and the fog begins to lift. we simply love for this is what we have at our core. as opposed to half plus a half equals one. The process of Individuation can start with simple and yet powerful Family Constellation work and evolve to a place where a more apt name for the work can be Personal Constellations or even Self Realisation Constellations. saint and ancient scriptures have been telling us for a thousand generations. Through Family Constellation process I began slowly to leave the burdens of others with them. or at least so I thought. As the void fills up we reenter relationships as one plus one equals two.